The impact of chronic vulval pain on quality of life and psychosocial well-being
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Background: Chronic or recurrent pain associated with the female reproductive system is not well understood and has been neglected in research, despite it being a costly health problem. Aims: The present research investigated the psychosocial impact of vulval pain on health-related quality of life, sexual well-being, and relationship satisfaction among Australian women. Methods: Between June and December 2004, Australian women with and without vulval pain completed a questionnaire containing a range of well-validated self-report measures. Questionnaires were returned by 51 women aged between 19 and 68 years with vulval pain and 46 women aged between 21 and 65 years without vulval pain. Results: Similar to previous research, Australian women with vulval pain reported significantly worse health-related quality of life, higher levels of distress related to sexual activities, and lower levels of happiness in couple relationships than those without pain. Conclusions: These results highlight serious psychosocial implications for women experiencing chronic vulval pain. Understanding the impact that vulval pain has on women may assist in developing appropriate psychosocial interventions that may improve quality of life.
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology